Friday 24 August 2007

Blackthorn - Prunus spinosa

I've decided to post a few of my old photographs that i didn't manage to post whilst they were in flower. Blackthorn flowering period has long since gone - in fact i've seen many ripe sloe fruits ready to be picked which seems early to me - but i'm not complaining. Bring on the sloe gin!

Saturday 18 August 2007

Away for a while

I'm in London writing up my dissertation for my masters. London's pretty quiet on the flower front so i think i'll have problems posting every day - especially with all the work i have to do. So, i apologise in advance for my sporadic posting. I may not be able to post for several weeks. Hope you can cope without new pictures whilst i'm away! Victoria

Friday 17 August 2007

Field scabious - Knautia arvensis

The field scabious has petals with four unequal sized lobes. It could be confused with Devil's Bit Scabious but this species has four lobes that are equal in length.

Thursday 16 August 2007

Glow worm larvae?

Can anyone help me with the identification of this species? I think it could this be the larvae of a glow-worm but i'm not sure. Sorry about the rubbish photo, it kept running around and I couldn't make it keep still and I couldn't get a good picture of its head. It was a pesky little thing.

Black or Common Knapweed - Centaurea nigra

Wednesday 15 August 2007

Autumn Gentian - Gentianella amarella

As it's name suggests this is a pretty little species that comes out in the Autumn. Right now is a great time to go looking for them, they can be found growing in chalk grassland all over Sussex.

Tuesday 14 August 2007

Dodder - Cuscuta epithymum

This is a parasitic plant that grows on plants such as heather and clover. It looks like red string trailing across the ground. It's seen here growing on clover at a chalk grassland site but i've seen it before on heathlands too.

Monday 13 August 2007

Autumn Lady's Tresses - Spiranthes spiralis

Another beautiful orchid. It's so tiny i almost didn't see it amongst the grasses but when you learn what to look for they seem to be everywhere

Thursday 2 August 2007

Common Figwort - Scrophularia nodosa

Ok, so i've got figwort in twice. But i really like this picture, and i've misplaced my camera and haven't had a chance to take any new pictures for a while. Don't be angry!

Monday 23 July 2007

Brachypodium pinnatum - Tor grass

This species can become a real problem in chalk grassland. It's a big tough grass that is undesirable to grazing animals and it can dominate the sward shading out more desirable grasses and forbs. It's leaves are quite a light green that can be seen at some distance standing out against the rest of the grassland

Sunday 22 July 2007

Pineappleweed - Matricaria matricarioides

Like a daisy the flower is made up of a compound yellow/green head only without the ray florets round the edge. When the plant is crushed it smells strongly like pineapples, hence its name. This plant was introduced to the UK sometime around 1900 and has spread throughout much of England

Saturday 21 July 2007

Red Star Thistle - Centaurea calcitrapa

The red star thistle is marked as vulnerable by the IUCN and it is apparantly confined to Sussex coastal areas in the UK although the NBN gateway shows a much wider distribution. The flower head has long yellowish spines and pink thistle like flowers. It can be found growing in distrubed habitats, particularly grassland. This plant was growing along a path way subject to a moderate level of disturbance

Friday 20 July 2007

Cyperus sedge - Carex pseudocyperus

If you don't know, sedges look a lot like grasses with long green leaves. However, grasses have leaves in two ranks up the stem (i.e. alternate) whereas sedges have leaves in whorls of three. This means that usually the stem of a sedge seems almost triangular. This is a picture of the female part of the flower head. It's a massive, spikly drooping flower head and is fairly unmistakeable, i think. This plant was growing on the side of a ditch at Amberley Wildbrooks.

Tuesday 17 July 2007

Branched Bur-Reed - Sparganium erectum

The flowers of this plant are awesome! Look how strange and sculpted they look. I love the way they almost look like hairy maltesers (it's dinner time - bear with me). The flowers turn green eventually. The leaves of this plant look like a large juicy grass, they are arranged in two ranks up the stem. However, the leaves are very large and fleshy and traingular in section. Also, the base of the leaves are a dull pinkish colour. This plant is usually found growing in wetlands, places like ditches are good for spotting it.

Monday 16 July 2007

Common toadflax - Linaria vulgaris

The leaves of this plant are arranged in whorls round the stem which you might be able to make out in the background of this photo, slightly out of focus. This plant can often be found in quite rough, disturbed grassland. This plant was growing alongside a path.

Sunday 15 July 2007

Tutsan - Hypericum androsaemum

Ok, so officially this picture doesn't count because it's not a picture of a flower but of the fruit. But i won't tell anyone if you don't. It belongs in the same family as all the st John's Wort plants so it has opposite leaves and pretty yellow flowers. The berries eventually go red as they ripen. I'll look out for a plant in flower and post it here when i find it.